Re: [xmca] Publish or Perish indices

From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth who-is-at>
Date: Mon Nov 05 2007 - 06:05:15 PST

Hi Peter, thanks for your comments. David IS right in some sense, as
I get frequent requests for measures of quality, often times what our
rejection rate is, when people come up for tenure. Tenure committees,
too, contact me to find out about rejection rates. And I don't think
this is a good measure for the quality of a journal.

On 5-Nov-07, at 2:49 AM, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:

David, I think you overstate the case. Many people are taking risks--
just check
the vitas of the people on this list. And I've found that journals
are very
receptive to out-of-the-box studies, as long as they're done with
rigor, and with rigor broadly defined.

While impact ratings carry some weight, I've never heard them used in
tenure/promotion cases at 2 universities. Rather, journal reputations
weight. And so MCA's rep matters more than its impact rating.

Like many of you, I'm on several editorial boards and so don't see
any reason to
cite work just because it's published in a particular journal; I try
to cite whatever
informs my work. If MCA articles fit that profile, then they get
cited, but not
gratuitously to elevate an impact score. If boosting that score is an
goal, then the best approach is to continue publishing scholarship
that has an
impact on other people's thinking and writing.


---- Original message ----
> Date: Mon, 5 Nov 2007 02:19:00 -0300
> From: David Preiss <>
> Subject: Re: [xmca] Publish or Perish indices
> To:, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
> Mike,
> Echoing your words, it never stops to astonish me how the use of
> these indexes is transforming university activity in a very negative
> way. In my opinion, the first impact of ISI is that nobody can take
> risks, nobody can get out of the mainstream, and... nobody can do
> science in any language that is not English. I wonder when these
> indexes started to become so popular, as to settle as the final
> criterion to judge the intellectual productivity of an academic and
> to become standards to be imitated by the developing world.
> I really would love to learn about what the most experienced people
> in this list have to say about the use of ISI and how the inclusion
> of the Internet radicalized the "indexation" of human intellect.
> There is a real cultural-historical process behind it and I can think
> of a very nice application of Yrjö Engëstrom diagrams to the nature
> of academic life these days. A new ivory tower, whose ceiling is the
> impact factor of a journal?
> David
> On Nov 4, 2007, at 10:45 PM, Mike Cole wrote:
>> Very helpful, Michael.
>> The "publish or perish site," as Peter noted, is interesting. It is
>> not
>> error free. You need to go through their "hits" and clean it
>> up but it includes a LOT of pubs that ISI does not touch. Of
>> course, given
>> the "join our fraternity of experts" role of ISI that may
>> not cut it with everyone, but the additional info is important.
>> Meantime, how about we get great research done that transforms the
>> world.
>> People might recognize it has happened (of course,
>> given the retrospective nature of such recognition we will not be
>> around to
>> witness it, but think how happy our progeny will be!)
>> :-)
>> mike
>> On Nov 4, 2007 5:25 PM, Wolff-Michael Roth <> wrote:
>>> Hi all,
>>> further to the issue of how to get our journal more valorized. Here
>>> the Thompson information in impact factor, which is the factor most
>>> scientists consider to be the important thing to watch (SCIENCE has
>>> IF=30, NATURE IF=27, J LEARN SCI IF~3). Here is how it is calculated
>>> Figure 1: Calculation for journal impact factor.
>>> A= total cites in 2006
>>> B= 2006 cites to articles published in 2004-5 (this is a subset
>>> of A)
>>> C= number of articles published in 2004-5
>>> D= B/C = 2006 impact factor
>>> I did a quick count. In 2006, we had B=11 cites to articles
>>> published
>>> in 2004-5
>>> We had published C=(I don't know whether they count commentaries,
>>> book reviews, assuming they don't:) 21
>>> D=B/C=0.52
>>> In Education, this would put us at a rank of about 49 out of 100
>>> journals; in Ed Psych on 27 out of 40, in Social Sciences
>>> Interdisciplinary at rank 31 of 48. I also believe that the
>>> citations
>>> have to come from other journals, at least, this is what a quick
>>> check in another journal appeared to indicate (J LEARN SCI, which is
>>> #1 in Education, #2 in PSYCH ED).
>>> So what you can do is publish in ISI journals, and when you do, cite
>>> works in our journal MCA.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Michael
>> _______________________________________________
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> David Preiss, Ph.D.
> Subdirector de Extensión y Comunicaciones
> Escuela de Psicología
> Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
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